The Global Sanitation Fund-supported programme in Togo

Date: 15th May 2015

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Executing Agency:
Programme duration:
Programme Coordinating Mechanism:
Chaired by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection

The GSF-supported programme in Togo is a key contributor to ‘Togo Sans Défécation à l’Air Libre’ (‘Open Defecation Free Togo’) or ‘Togo SANDAL’, the national movement to end open defecation in the country. The programme works in rural communities to increase the use of latrines and promote good hygiene practices. Sub-grantees are local and international NGOs facilitating CLTS in all districts in the Savanes and Kara regions, and in five districts in the Plateaux region.

2016 Highlights

Demonstrating the GSF’s focus on national ownership, a gradual handover of programme management responsibilities from UNICEF to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection has been planned from the outset. To this end, a comprehensive handover plan was developed by all key stakeholders in 2016. Under the plan, the ministry will progressively take on more responsibilities in 2017 and 2018.

During the year, the programme rolled out its Institutional Triggering strategy in all target regions and prefectures, which led to ODF commitments and action plans adopted by administrative, traditional and religious leaders. The programme also helped the Government complete its Togo SANDAL roadmap to mobilize additional support and funding to ensure that both rural and urban areas are ODF by 2030. The programme also supported the Government to launch a social marketing strategy that will help households and communities climb the sanitation ladder. The strategy will engage communities, supply-side actors, local governments and microfinance entities around a social financing mechanism for improving sanitation facilities.

To date, the programme has supported 22 cantons to achieve ODF status, covering all communities in need in these cantons. Moreover, 330,000 people have been enabled to live in ODF communities. This is an unprecedented achievement in the country, as no other WASH initiative has reached this scale. In addition, close to 4,000 vulnerable people have gained access to and continue to use toilets at home.


The programme’s prolonged inception phase and limited number of implementation partners has delayed geographical scale-up. For similar reasons, the programme management handover to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection was delayed. To addresses challenges, an additional 16 implementation partners will be brought on in 2017 to ensure that all target prefectures are covered. In addition, the programme team within the Ministry will be strengthened with additional staff, and all stakeholders have agreed to adhere to the handover plan.

Learning and innovation

The programme has learned that engaging local institutions at the outset increases their involvement in CLTS, therefore increasing the speed at which ODF status is achieved. To this end, the programme fine-tuned its demand-led approach in 2016, which facilitates Institutional Triggering and the Madagascar-born U Approach for scaling up ODF achievement, prior to community Triggering.

The School-Led Total Sanitation (SLTS) approach was further developed, which triggers teachers, principals, educational advisors, school inspectors and other officials, who then develop and implement action plans for achieving ODF status in schools and surrounding communities. The approach also engages children as sanitation champions in their schools and communities. The programme has reached close to 500 schools and has also been approached by WASH peers who are interested in adopting SLTS. In addition, community exchanges through Village Clinics were further facilitated, through which Natural Leaders from ODF villages meet with representatives from open defecation villages to create action plans for achieving ODF status.

Looking ahead

In addition to increasing the number of implementing partners, the programme will intensify its support to Togo SANDAL in 2017, through strategic partnerships with key ministries and financial and technical actors. An independent mid-term evaluation of the programme will also be completed, and the programme’s gradual handover process will continue.

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